Each of you will have your own definition of “professional blogger.” Mine is someone who earns their living as a blogger, either through advertising revenue on their sites or getting paid to write posts on someone else’s sites (usually ghostwritten). Such a writer might also earn money by other means such as e-book sales, giving lectures, consulting, flipping sites, etc.
This site, if I understand correctly, is aimed at helping those bloggers who want to do this as a living (as well as helping build relationships). It’s as good a time as any to consider your options. Bloggers For Hire recently discussed blogging as a profession, quoting a similar article from the Christian Science Monitor.
The latter concludes that bloggers can make money but most of use are keeping our day jobs. They quote the well-known Mr. ProBlogger himself, Darren Rowse, who says that he put in eight- to sixteen-hour days – something many new bloggers don’t (or don’t want to?) see.
One By One Media, which is affiliated with Bloggers For Hire, expands on the discussion in Like money for nothing. They include an interesting quote from a WSJ (Wall Street Journal) article (subscribers only), in which BlogAds.com’s Henry Copeland says that most self-employed (full-time) bloggers “take in between $2,000 and $10,000 a month from ad sales.” Would that it were so – I certainly don’t take in that much in ads. However, as I think David Krug said here, I’d blog regardless of the money.
On the other hand, I do ghostblog for some people who do far more than that. The WSJ article also says that political bloggers can make $20-30K/mth around election time. Don’t forget that they also give updates every 30-60 minutes, and follow news sources all day long. It just goes to show you that if you’re good at your niche, you’ll be rewarded.
So ultimately, you have to ask yourself why you are doing this. For fun, for a bit of extra cash, or as a career? For me, it started as “fun”. (I’m a know-it-all windbag, so I have lots to write about.) Then a bit of cash trickled in, and then some more, and so on. Now I’m sort of hovering between part-time and full-time earnings, depending on how much contract work I get done each month. (And as a direct result of what I’ve learned, my own sites are starting to pick up a bit.)
Just remember one thing: it takes effort, but ultimately, it can pay off. Now, what does being a professional blogger mean to you?
Ahmed, I agree pro-bloggers are completely under-priced. However the market is tight and we’re in a period of proving value. Next year, however, I think the palying field will be different and pro-bloggers will start getting paid more as folks like Jim and I can charge more.
Oh yeah, I forgot that Chris is actually the one that inspired my posts about wearing hats.
I’ve been meaning to help discuss this definition on other sites that have discussed this issue and this article as to what and how we define a professional blogger. Is this someopne that has a blog that makes a single dollar? As above most people think of a professional blogger as a complete wage earner like any other career. As I have discussed in the past on other sites, I believe their are different levels of professionals in this area.
I was quoted in the WSJ article about blogging as a career, and have been meaning to get this more exposure. I was also interviewed a second time just on that issue of people making a career out of blogging or using it to supplement their incomes. That has not been published yet, but I will make sure and let everyone know when it comes out.
Thanks again for the mention of our blogs and the story here Raj. We are seeing more and more companies begin to embrace the idea of hiring an expert blogger. Please contact me if you are interested in getting into our pool of professionals. I too believe that blogging is more than just a freelance writer and I have written before about the many hats of a professional blogger. (http://www.bloggersforhire.com/the-many-hats-of-a-professional-blogger/) They have an expertise in many areas, such as marketing, advertising, PR, and some are even huge nerdy geeks like Tris! 😉
Good points, Ahmed. I offer a lot of extras (organic SEO, to the best of my knowledge) without thinking about it. But yeah, I didn’t think about that consciously.
Not that I can tell anyone how to define ‘pro blogging’ (in case someone reading this gets that impression)…
I think that we, as bloggers, continue to underprice ourselves hugely. It’s not just that it’s an immature market but that as pro bloggers we have a responsibility towards ourselves to offer top value and demand the same from clients.
As far as the ‘freelance writers’ term is concerned, I prefer ‘startup’ experts or entrepreneurs – bloggers are also responsible for marketing, for research and management, are they not?
It’s not just writing, it’s a complete package.
If you’re just offering your services as a writer, you’re not a problogger
Hi Tris, thanks for your comments. I agree with you re being a pro-blogger is like being a freelance writer. I actually consciously left that part out, wondering if anyone would point it out – and you did However, blogging might even afford more people the opportunity to earn than what has traditionally been called freelance writing.
The blogging field sure has changed rapidly, I agree. Even since last year, I think.
Raj, Thank you for continuing this discussion. I think I have a unique perspective. I blog for a network, which has its own monetary compensation. I have a few blogs of my own, from which I get some ad revenue. I also do some pro-blogging still and work with Jim at One By One Media helping companies start blogging (by setting up blogs and providing contract bloggers).
Pro-blogging has evolved a lot even in the couple years that I’ve been doing it. When I started it was completely uncharted territory. The questions about whether you could blog for another company, and blog well, were hot topics. I think that discussion has passed and now pro-bloggers are being asked to prove the ROI of their efforts.
So for me, being a pro-blogger is really about being like a freelance writer. You have areas of expertise and you offer that expertise to people who would like to have your content on their site. I think there will come a time, and attempts have been made toward this, where authors will just write articles, submit them to a service, and get paid for the right to have them on other sites.
Most of all pro-blogging is getting to earn money writing about things you’re passionate about. Who could ask for more?
Okay, more money would be nice. As the value of our collective work increases, I think that will come too.